At the heart of the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) approach is the development and teaching of new skills and behaviours that prevent behaviours of concern. These skills and behaviours enable a person to live an ‘ordinary’ life and be an active participant in their own lives and the lives of others.
MacIntyre’s PBS Team, with the support of Sam’s family, applied a PBS approach to help Sam develop not just new skills, but rediscover positive behaviours that were hidden due to his experiences.
This is Sam’s story
Sam has a learning disability, autism and uses few words to communicate. He struggles with his anxieties and regularly expresses how he feels by using behaviours of concern. As a result, Sam is now supported on a 3-1 basis.
Over the past few years Sam had little opportunity to be part of his community, seemingly preferring to spend time by himself, away from his team and spent his time taking part in his own rituals. Although, this had not always been the case.
For many years Sam enjoyed a rich fulfilling life; going away on family holidays abroad, caravanning and tandem cycling with his dad, Paul. He also had access to education, both formally and with his mum, Danuta, who supported him to achieve a number of ASDAN and AIM qualifications.
However as Sam grew older, circumstances left his family frustrated. Sam’s support had become more and more restrictive and began to include the use of medication to reduce his behaviours of concern, meaning that Sam’s world and experiences had become smaller, less fulfilling and many of the skills he had developed just disappeared.
Sam’s family decided to buy him his forever home and place this in a trust for him. They also took over the running of his care package themselves. Whilst positive change for Sam was beginning to happen with his family as his care provider, Sam’s family realised the enormity of running of a care package. This is where MacIntyre joins Sam’s story.
In 2019 our Positive Behaviour Support team (PBS) was introduced to Sam and began to work closely with him, his team and his family to proactively make small, but vital changes to his everyday life that would help to reduce those anxieties and factors that had become a barrier.
Sarah Kilby, Lead PBS Coach at MacIntyre said:
“For us, the most important link we had in making this happen was Sam’s family. I observed them with him and saw him engage and take part in lots of activities and positive interactions on every daily visit and I wanted to re-create this experience for everyone supporting Sam. Family helped us to find out about his past, not just the negative side of things, but equally about what Sam loved, what he was good at and things he had achieved before.”
Sharing these positives and using the active support model and approach led to staff planning for and introducing new activities every day, little and often. Most recently one of these positives was finding out that Sam used to go litter picking and had really enjoyed doing this. Trips out of the home on long walks, which Sam enjoys, had been restricted because of the pandemic, so staff began to reintroduce this activity.
They did this at first by scattering paper around the garden and encouraging Sam, armed with high visability vest and litter picker, to pick these up. This has quickly led to Sam now going out and using this love and skill in his own local community and once again becoming part of something bigger.
There have been so many ‘little’ big steps like this for Sam over the last 12 months.
Sam’s family said:
“By introducing PBS to Sam’s care provision and focussing on the proactive prevention of behaviours of concern, rather than reactive measures, MacIntyre have developed staff in this approach resulting in a continued reduction in Sam’s levels of anxiety and behaviours of concern. Using data analysis, from this we have been able to reduce Sam’s level of medication and re-introduce activities that he once enjoyed.
Sam continues to develop self-management skills to help him cope with everyday life and his reaction to triggers are increasingly less intense and less frequent. MacIntyre recognises us, as Sam’s parents, as having a key role in Sam’s care and support and we all work in partnership. No other care provider has been able to understand Sam and successfully introduce the level of PBS Sam receives.”
Sam’s future is now looking much more positive.
Sarah Kilby, Lead PBS Coach at MacIntyre added:
“We all agree that Sam deserves the best and everyone is working together to achieve this. For Sam, his family and his team, this is just the start and I am excited to imagine where they will be in another year’s time.”